Viv Willder - our tenant and ex-board member, tells us about her experience of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine
"My name is Vivienne Willder, more widely known as Viv. Being born and bred in St Annes-on-the-Sea, I'm also what's known as a 'Sandgrown'un', as is my other half, James.
"We have three grown-up children, Sonia, Rose and David, and we are very proud grandparents to Emma, Kurt, Jordan, Jack and Alicia, and great grandparents to Grayson.
"For nine years, I was a board member of New Fylde Housing (now part of Progress Housing Group). During the pandemic, I've found Progress Housing Group is supporting the health and wellbeing of tenants living in independent living properties. The Group has kept in touch with help, advice, and guidance, used protective measures during any maintenance and repairs, and helped with shopping when people were shielding. They've also recently dropped off Easter eggs as a lovely surprise for tenants! As a tenant of 25+ years, I'm delighted to be writing for Progress' tenant newsletter StreetTalk about my experience of the pandemic and the importance of getting our vaccines!
"It's not been easy during the lockdowns, but being a local councillor has kept me busy for ten years. I've been mainly working at home (Zoom meetings galore!). Caused in part by building works on my patch, Heyhouses, I've also enjoyed lots more interaction with local residents via telephone, email and, as restrictions have eased, I've been able to participate in some socially distanced meetings.
"Keeping up my work as a local councillor supporting residents has helped combat the sheer boredom that I know many of us have suffered during the pandemic. We feel fortunate to have had our eldest daughter as our 'bubble', and she has been an absolute godsend. I know many others have not been as lucky to have family or friends close by, and my heart goes out to them.
"I think the COVID-19 vaccines are wonderful. Jim had his early in December and January and has had no problems with either of them. I couldn't wait to have mine! I got my first one in February. I didn't feel very well afterwards, but some years ago, I also had a similar reaction from the flu jab. Three days later, I was feeling fine and, after I had my second jab recently, I've experienced no problems at all.
"Getting the vaccine will help protect you, your family and other people you might meet. I'd urge anyone, if you're eligible, to get 'the jab'. It will save lives. There may be some side effects afterwards, but knowing that this could keep you alive, as well as protect your family and friends - it really is worth it.
"So please get your vaccine when you can, and let's kick this COVID-19 into touch! It's by all of us working together and supporting our excellent health workers that we can all help look after and protect each other. A 'little jab' does work!"